Class Snapshots

MATHEMATICS

Algebra I

The Algebra I course begins the new quarter with a review of elementary concepts in numbers and operations. As students progress, they are introduced to the fundamental difference between expressions and equations and how each are properly used. Forming the foundation for Algebra, variables and variable expressions are introduced, as is the concept of like-terms. The course will continue with variables and variable equations and finally discuss how mathematical properties can be applied.

Geometry

The Geometry course begins the first quarter with an introduction of the most elemental concepts in geometry: points, lines, planes, angles and measure. Vocabulary is an important aspect of any science, but is key to the study of geometry. Terminology is stressed and reinforced. As students progress through their studies, they are introduced to logic. Conditionals are introduced. Setting a foundation for Logic and Proofs, Euclidean postulates and axioms are introduced.

Algebra II

The Algebra II course begins with a brief, but thorough review in elementary algebra concepts. Equations and expressions are detailed, including their proper use. Students continuing with the study are introduced to axioms. The concept of linear equations and their solutions are practiced. Multi-step solutions for linear equations are studied and practiced. Next in line is the study of intervals. Continuing at this point in the course, solutions to absolute value equations and absolute value inequalities are studied. As students continue their study, they are introduced to complex functions.

Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry Review

The Advanced Algebra course begins with a brief, but thorough review in elementary algebra concepts. Continuing with equations and expressions and their proper use, students are introduced to rational expressions. As students progress, they practice simplifying rational expressions using various methods including factoring and cancellation. Students will continue to perform various operations on polynomials such as: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. Students will learn to manipulate, process and use powers, roots, radicals and fractional exponents.

Financial Literacy

The students in this math course will have the opportunity to apply mathematical concepts used by a consumer in a variety of situations in the real world. The areas that will be covered throughout this year will be money management, consumer credit, banking, investing, real estate, insurance, taxes and estate planning. The concept of three fictional characters Ed, Ted and Zed will be used throughout the learning to help reinforce the importance of  proper money management strategies.  Power Point slide shows, interactive Apps, videos and discussions will be used to help visually keep the students engaged and learning. Small projects will also be utilized to help reinforce the overall learning experience. Classroom participation, class assignments and mini quizzes will be used for assessment and grades.

ENGLISH

Language Arts

In Language Arts, the students are completing Suzanne Collins Hunger Games Trilogy. This science fiction novel is set in a world of total nightmare, the opposite of a utopia. The totalitarian government of Panem has complete control of the citizens’ lives and subject them to horrifying acts of cruelty that are then televised on national television.

Through various activities and assignments, the students are gaining insight into various themes, including physical hardship, loyalty in extreme circumstances, courage, love, friendship, admiration and sacrifice. The trilogy comes highly recommended by our class. Check it out!

English I

This course provides students with a variety of experiences in which they explore language arts literacy skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  The students will be equipped with the skills necessary for successful written and verbal communication.  All course work will be adapted to meet the needs of the individual learner.  A variety of materials will be used throughout the year to stimulate and engage the students in the learning process.  Classroom participation, as well as, completion of assignments, quizzes and tests will be used for assessment and grades.

English II

English II is designed to cover language arts skills, as well as, reading comprehension, vocabulary development and writing.  The students will be asked to demonstrate an ability to focus on a central idea or topic, present ideas logically, use varied sentence structure and vocabulary, and use appropriate grammar in both oral and written communication. All course work will be adapted to meet the needs of the individual learner.  A variety of materials will be used throughout the year to keep the students engaged and learning. Classroom participation, as well as, completion of assignments, quizzes and tests will be used for assessment and grades.

SCIENCE

Middle School Science

Middle School Science class is off to an “electron-fying” start this year! The students have studied matter in its multiple states and have learned the differences between chemical and physical properties. They can also describe the parts of an atom, how they are arranged, and how to read the Periodic Table of Elements.  Each student will choose an element from the  table to create a powerpoint presentation on their new Chromebook laptops.  As a class, we use multiple resources and hands-on materials to better understand the new material.  I think the favorite activity so far, though, was the “edible atom” which we made with Skittles!

Forensics

The Oakwood Forensic Science course provides the students with 21st Century learning skills. Students will develop skills that include criminal and civil law. The application of the scientific method is essential to Forensic Science – observation, data collection, evidence, classification, examining relationships, forming and testing hypotheses and drawing conclusions. Students will be required to use critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and technology in order to analyze crime scene evidence. Topics include evidence collection, hair analysis, fingerprints, fiber analysis, DNA fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, blood analysis, toxicology, death, ballistics, casts and impressions and soil analysis.

Biology

Biology is the study of living organisms. The Oakwood School Biology curriculum provides an opportunity for students to develop scientific processing skills, laboratory techniques and an understanding of the fundamental principles of living organisms. Students will explore cell structure and function, genetics and heredity, evolution and classification, human anatomy, and the diversity of living organisms and their ecological roles.

HISTORY

U.S. History I

The first marking period of United States I will outline the humble beginnings of the country that we live in today. The student will use maps and charts to look at how the geography of the 13 colonies affected the economic and cultural development of America. The coursework will take the students on a journey where they will learn about Native Americans and why they were so negatively affected by the presence of Europeans, topics regarding the beginning and expansion of slavery, We will study the American Revolution and the cause that led to the break between the Colonies and Great Britain, as well as the struggles of the new United States of America. In the class the students will complete a variety of creative projects that will incorporate many of tech applications available to them on the Google Apps platform which is linked to their Oakwood School Gmail account. Using these tools will enhance their skills as 21st century learners and develop them into lively young historians.

U.S. History II

U.S. History II is offered as a requirement under the social studies state component for graduation. The course acknowledges and builds on the student’s understanding of the place the U.S. holds in the world at the turn of the century and how it came to be in the place it is today. The course will allow students an opportunity to enhance their reading and writing skills in activities designed to aid students in articulating their thought process. The course will also enable students to develop critical thinking skills, which will prepare them to participate in an increasingly complex democratic world.  Power Point slide shows, interactive Apps, videos and discussions will be used to help visually keep the students engaged and learning. Small projects will also be utilized to help reinforce the overall learning experience. Classroom participation, class assignments and mini quizzes will be used for assessment and grades.

CURRENT WORLD ISSUES

The beginning of the year in Current World Issues will familiarize students with many of the concepts that dictate how people interact with governments of nations as well as how they affect and are affected by the environments that they live in. By studying the major regions of the globe and the various socio-economic issues that are at stake in more contemporary times, the students will be able to analyze how cultures shape human-environmental relationships. Students will also be able to describe the pressure exerted on modern “nation states” due to cultural, territorial, and population patterns. More specifically, the students will explore topics where they will compare and contrast regions based upon economic, industrial, and political development, how countries are classified as “1st, 2nd, or 3rd” World, and how different forms of government affect the people in which they govern. In the class the students will complete a variety of creative projects that will incorporate many of the tech application available to them on the Google Apps platform which is linked to their Oakwood School Gmail account. Using these tools will enhance their skills as 21st century learners and develop them into effective global citizens.

ART

This marking period in Art, we’re kicking off the year with sculpting a 3D model.  Students will be learning how to use a variety of tools and hand building techniques to sculpt a model depicting a roadside attraction they’d like to see in their travels.  Students went on a virtual road trip across the country, visiting many of the bizarre sites referenced in pop culture and video games. Students were surprised to learn that an Elephant hotel was right in New Jersey! In October, students will learn about printmaking techniques as they design a tessellation inspired by M.C. Escher.  Students will study pinned insects and apply these designs and color to their work.

Art Club is back and there are some exciting trips planned for the year. Members of Art Club work on their independent projects while watching or listening to youtube videos or movie clips referencing moments in cinematic history, art history, biographies, and current exhibitions. Students also are given the opportunity to work on their projects further, or develop skills needed to practice art making at home such as preparing a canvas or photographing your work.

In the spring, students will participate in the 2nd Annual Art Show. Check back for details.